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On July 14, 2016, Representative Darryl Issa (R-Calif.) introduced H.R.5801, the “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act.”  The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Peters, Polis, Vargas, Farenthold, Smith, Hunter, and Davis.  The bill proposes to amend the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) of 1998.

The ACWIA established certain enhanced Labor Condition Application requirements for “H-1B Dependent Employers,” as that term was defined in the law.  These additional requirements include U.S. worker recruitment requirements and rules concerning the non-displacement of U.S. workers.  The ACWIA also contained certain exemptions from the rules for H-1B Dependent Employers: an H-1B Dependent Employer is exempt from Additional Labor Condition Statements if the H-1B employee 1) earns an annual salary of more than $60,000, and 2) if the H-1B employee holds a master’s degree or greater.

H.R. 5801 amends the ACWIA’s exemptions for H-1B Dependent Employers.  First, it raises the wage exemption from $60,000 to $100,000, and proposes further inflationary increases in the minimum every three years.  Next, the bill proposes to repeal the master’s degree exemption for H-1B Dependent Employers.

We will continue to monitor developments and track the progress of this legislation.

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.